After a shocking 4-0 loss to Southampton, Arsenal will be looking to bounce back and win against the recently promoted AFC Bournemouth at the Emirates. A win would also give an opportunity to go to the top of the table, till Manchester City play Leicester City tomorrow.
Arsene Wenger has kept his cards close to his chest and hasn’t revealed much about the players that need to be rested. Our predicted line up for the game is as follows:
Goalkeeper – Petr Cech: Petr Cech is going to start between the sticks and Wenger wouldn’t need to give a second thought about it, as the Czech International has definitely influenced the squad with his presence both on, and off the field.
Right Back – Hector Bellerin: The young Spaniard has outperformed Mathie Debuchy and has established himself as the number one right back in the team. Keeping in mind that two games in three days might affect the fitness of the 20-year old, he would start the game as he offers a better security than the out-of-form Mathieu Debuchy. Debuchy could make his way back into the reserves after being dropped from the bench for the last two games.
Centre Backs – Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny: Although Laurent Koscielny had a bad day against Southampton, we could see Per Mertesacker given some rest as it was his lack of pace that was exploited. Gabriel Paulista will be replacing the German as the Brazilian was brought into the squad to rotate amongst the centre backs. That being said, there is a tiny possibility of Gabriel and Mertesacker pairing up as centre backs for the evening.
Left Back – Kieran Gibbs: Kieran Gibbs can be seen replacing Nacho Monreal at the Left Back as the Spaniard would be very handy against Newcastle. The Englishman is capable enough to see off Bournemouth without any hiccups, also keeping in mind his recent short stints at left wing, he is fit and raring to go.
Defensive Midfield – Aaron Ramsey and Calum Chambers: Aaron Ramsey is going to retain his favourite position at the central midfield but is going to be partnered with the less-experienced Calum Chambers. Chambers would be replacing Flamini who was substituted off against Southampton with a Calf Sprain. So the Welshman is given an added responsibility of playing more conservatively and carefully, at least until the lead is taken.
Left Wing – Alex Oxlade Chamberlain: Alex Oxlade Chamberlain will be handed over a start to prove his credentials. The youngster has failed to prove his potential this season and has played second fiddle to Joel Campbell since making his way out of injury. The Englishman is expected to portray his threat going forward and also fulfill his defensive duties.
Attacking Midfield – Mesut Ozil: The King of Assists is going to play at his attacking midfield position and is fancied to rack up one or perhaps, two more of the assists. One mediocre day against Southampton cannot displace the German from his position. The team is going to rely on him to create opportunities.
Right Wing – Joel Campbell: Joel Campbell is expected to start from the wing after taking the responsibility in the absence of Alexis Sanchez. The Costa Rican played a good 70 minutes against Southampton before being replaced. And hence, one could derive that he is going to start the game and hopefully, finish it without damaging his fitness.
Centre Forward – Olivier Giroud: Olivier Giroud is tipped to start the game as Arsene Wenger would want to win the game by the hour mark and then throw in Theo Walcott for the Frenchman and look to play counter-attacking football with the pace of Walcott coming in handy.
Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs
Chamberlain, Ozil, Campbell
David Ospina, Per Mertesacker, Mathieu Flamini, Mathieu Debuchy (or) Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott, Jeffe Rene Adelaide.
Jack Wilshere, who was expected to be back in January is unlikely to return any time before February as Arsene Wenger stated in the press conference. The Englishman was injured by a training ground tackle right before the start of the season and has undergone a surgery in September.
Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs
Walcott, Ozil, Chamberlain